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Philosophy / Religion Courses
Philosophy | Religion | Advanced

Philosophy Courses

101 Introduction to Philosophy.
The meaning and scope of philosophy and the major problems with which it is concerned. Fall, spring.

102 Contemporary Moral Problems. An introduction to philosophical perspectives on some of the important ethical controversies facing our society, with a focus on developibng and critically analyzing reasons used to support a moral postion. Topics may vary, but may include abortion, cloning, the legalization of drugs, physician assisted suicide, animal rights, and the death penalty.

104 Introduction to Ethics. This course is an introduction to moral theory. We will address questions such as: What does it mean to flourish as a human being? What makes actions right or wrong? Are there moral facts, or is it all subjective? Students will be encouraged to discuss, chare, and defend their own views.

105 Logic. How arguments are formulated and evaluated, analysis of the role of language in communication and training in the detection of common fallacies. Includes categorical, propositional, and predicate logic. Fall.

110 Philosophy Through Films.
This course aims to examine and criticall evaluate various philosophical themes by means of the visual medium of film. Such themes include: human nature, the nature of reality, and moral problems. Films may include popular releases, silent films and surrealist films. This course also integrate philosophical texts

129 Introduction to Women's Studies. An introduction to basic women's studies concepts and theories, drawing on methodologies and content of multiple disciplines. Explores the social and psychological processes by which individuals establish gender identity, the institutions that shape gender identity and the artculation of gender across racial and socio-economic categories.

201 Introduction to Jurisprudence. This course is an introduction to the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the United States judicial system. It will investigate the concept of "law" as it has been applied throughout the course of western civilzation. It will also explore the works of philosophers who inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution of judicial philosophy and the often complicated relationship between moral and leagal reasoning.

205 Writing and Argument. This course will focus in the development of the skills involved in philosophical reading, writing, and oral presentation. We will be working with philosophical materials; however the goal of the course is the development of prfeciency with these skills.

300 Topics in Philosophy. A special topic or topics including practical applications of philosophy or the relationship of philosophy to other aspects of life. Offered as needed.

301 Philosophy of Religion.
An inquiry into the scope and function of religion, the nature and destiny of human beings, the existence and nature of God and other selected problems.

304 Ethics. An examination of the major ethical theories of ancient and modern times and their impact upon traditional and contemporary ethical problems. Special attention is paid to the development of ethical thinking and the application of ethical theory to contemporary moral problems.

321 Science, Skepticism and Faith. Basic course in epistemology and metaphysics. Topics include the distinction between scientific and non-scientific types of knowledge (if any), the difference between “belief” and “knowledge” (if any), theories of “truth”, and the case for and implications of skepticism.

325 Theology on Film. See Religion 325 for course description.

328 Liberation Theology. See Religion 328 for course description.

329 Feminist Thought. See Religion 329 for course description.

331 Philosophy of Law. This course examines the theoretical and philosophical aspects of law. Materials will be drawn from actual leagl cases, as well as writings by philosophers and lawyers. Topics may include legal reasoning, the nature and purpose of law, criminal responsibility, negligence, civil disobedience, the relationship of law and morality, and omissions and the duty of rescue.

332 Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy. An exmanination of fundamental concepts and issues in political theory, such as the justification and limits of political authority, and the relationship between the individual and the community, the nature of freedom and obligation, and the obligation to obey the law.

334 An exploration of the philosophical dimensionbs of sports and their ethical implications. This includes metaphysical, ontological and epistemological foundation which shape roles, codes and rules that define sports.

344 Biomedical Ethics. Ethical issues created by recent advances in medical technology, including questions such as the relationship between the health care provider and the patient; truth and information; autonomy and diminished capacity; and genetic engineering within the context of moral reasoning.

351 Classical and Hellenistic Philosophy. Examination of the philosophical systems of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Special attention given to the work of Plato and Aristotle.

352 Christian Heresies and Orthodoxies. See Religion 352 for course description.

353 Modern Philosophy. Exploration of the foundations of modern philosophy, including the contributions of Descartes, Hume and Kant.

354 19th and 20th-Century Christian Theology. See Religion 354 for course description.

400 Capstone: Senior Thesis.
Senior research project stressing the application of research skills and the synthesis of knowledge in the discipline of philosophy.


Religion Courses top

101 Reading the Bible.
The texts and history of the Jewish and Christian Bibles. Survey of the ways that the Bible has been read from ancient times to the present, with examples, and their implications for the understanding of the text and the reader’s beliefs. Introduction to the transmission, translation, and reception of the biblical texts. Fall.

102 Religions of the West. Survey of major monotheistic traditions in the West: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Emphasis on the major forms of these three faiths including Traditional and Reform Judaism, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity, and Sunni and Shiite Islam. Attention will be given to historical origins, daily practices and holidays, and contemporary issues. Fall.

105 Religions of the East.
Primal religions, religion in Africa, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism and Shintoism, introducing the basic concepts and concerns of these religions. The major emphasis is on the religions of India, China and Japan. Spring.

106 Religions in America. Emphasis on Christianity, Judaism, Afro-American and Native American traditions in America, religion’s role in shaping American culture and special attention to recent developments. Fall.

108 Myth, Ritual and Symbol. An exploration of the world’s dominant religious and secular worldviews focusing on the myths, rituals and symbols contained in their sacred texts. The material is divided equally between Western and Eastern religions. Critical thinking techniques and strategies are emphasized in a learning environment in which students work collaboratively to produce and assess their own knowledge of the material. Fall.

110 World Christianities. Study of the contemporary situation of the Christian tradition worldwide. Focus on Christianity in discrete geographical areas, and the diversity and richness of Christian cultures. Areas of study include Eastern Orthodoxy, Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the rise of Pentecostalism, and Christians in relation to other religious traditions. Spring.

112 Jesus in Mass Production. A wide-ranging and multifacted exploration into many faces of the figure oh Jesus, through a variety of genres and media. In addition to the New Testament writings and contemporaneous extra biblical literature, the course engages modern and postmodern interpretations in novels, film, art, pop culture, and other contexts, including perspectives from outside the United States.

114 Christian Social Ethics.
Contemporary social problems and their relationship to Christianity. Attention given to the historical development of various Christian approaches to social issues, emphasizing current social engagement.

116 Religion on Film. Exploration of the religious issues reflected in popular films, with special attention on the relationship between beliefs, practices, and media.

118 Drugs and Religious Experience.
An exploration of the ritual use of hallucinogenic drugs in sacred culture. The central issue of the course is the relationship between such drugs and religious experience Examples are taken from various traditions from the Americas and Asia. May Term only.

300 Topics in Religion. A special topic or topics, including specific religions or the relation of religion to other aspects of life.

301 Philosophy of Religion. See Philosophy 301 for course description.

303 Literature of the Hebrew Bible. In-depth exploration of the scriptures shared by Jews and Christians, with detailed study of select passages, attending particularly to the characteristic diversity of these texts, to the historical and contemporary cultures that surround them, and to the relationship between methodological perspectives and interpretative issues.

304 New Testament Writings. In-depth exploration of the scriptures unique to Christianity, with detailed study of select passages, attending particularly to the characteristic diversity of these texts. the historical and contemporary cultures that surrond them. Their relationship to early Christianity and the figure of Jesus, and methodological questions central to their interpretation.

306 Issues in American Religious History. Specific issues and movements in American religion and their interrelationships with the larger American culture. Special attention is placed on the impact of these issues and movements on the contemporary situation. Topics include social Christianity, fundamentalism and pentecostalism, civil religion, church and state, sects and cults and denominational history.

307 Sociology of Religion. Methods and issues of the qualitative approach to sociology of religion. Emphasis on the construction, maintenance and function of religious organizations and groups; and, the construction of religious identity, and the function of religious worldviews and ritual processes in maintaining that identity.

308 Native American Sacred Traditions. An introduction to the worldviews and sacred traditions which form the basis of American Indian social, political, economic and material structures. Emphasis is on the intrinsic relationship between religion and culture in American Indian societies. A variety of cultures are examined, including tribes from the Great Lakes, Plains and Southwest.

310 Women in World Religions.
Themes and issues in the traditions and texts of Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions with particular attention to the role of women. Topics will include: images of women in sacred scriptures and historical traditions, ritual practices, sources of religious authority, and psychological and ethical implications of feminist approaches to religion.

315 Buddhism. An examination of Buddhism as a major religion in South and East Asia focusing on its core concepts, beliefs, and practices giving attention to tis major divisions (Theravada, Mahayana, and Varjrayana) and the most important schools within those traditions.

316 Religion in/and American Education.
An exploration of the legal issues related to professional educators and the place and role of religion in the public schools; the diversity of religious traditions within school communities; and religious perspectives that students and parents may bring into the public school setting.

319 The Origins of Protestantism. Principal figures and religious, political, social, and economic factors that contributed to the development of Protestantism from the 16th through the 18th centuries.

328 Liberation Theology. During the 20th Century a number of movements within Christianity turned to the teachings of Jesus and Hebrew prophets, and Marxist social analysis, to argue and work for social justice. Examines the origins of Liberation Theology in Latin America in the 1960s and the Black Power struggle in the U.S. Other topics include Feminist, Womanist, Ecological and Gay/Lesbian liberation theologies.

329 Feminist Ethics. Feminist approaches to literary theory, anthropology, psychology, ethics, and philosophy, and their possible effect on contemporary ethical issues.

330 Advanced Studies in the Bible. A detailed study of portions of the Jewish and/or Christian scriptures. Topics may include: prophecy and apocalyptic, the Synoptic gospels, the Pauline letters, myth and parable. Emphasis is on both historical and literary approaches to the Biblical texts.

335 Japanese Religion. An examination of the interrelationship between the dominant religious traditions of Japan and the ways in which people express those traditions culturally. The emphasis is on the cultural dimension of Shinto, Buddhism, and the Confucianism and their historical interactions.

340 Religion and Environmental Ethics. Examines whether the Judeo-Christian tradtionscan provide rationales that will persuade human beings from destroying other species, their habitats and the greater biosphere of our planet. We will examine Judeo-Christian text and discern the extent to which they provide promising foundations for environmental ethics.

345 Chinese Religion. An examination of the interrelationship between the dominant religious traditions of China and the ways in which people exporess those traditions culturally. The emphasis is on the cultural dimesnsion of Daoism, Buddhism and the Confucianism and their historical interactions.

352 Christian Heresies and Orthodoxies. Development of Christian theology from Jewish and Hellenic thought. Focus on major leaders, thinkers, and movements during this time. Emphasis on Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Aquinas.

354 19th and 20th-Century Christian Theology. Continental Theology from Schleiermacher and Hegel to the present. Will include dialectical thinkers, existentialists, feminists, and liberationists.

385 Ancient Ficiton: Sex, Shipwrecks, and Gods. Examines the history, place culture, readership, and the literary dynamics of select Greek, Latin, Jewish, and early Christian novelistic literature from the first four centuries of the Common Era. Emphasizes matters of the theory and method in relation to interpretation, and considers the relationship of prose fiction to various issues of identify.


Advanced and Special Classes
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199 Exploratory Internship.

299 Experimental Course.

399 Professional Internship.

400 Senior Research Project.
A special project stressing the application of research skills and the synthesis of knowledge in the discipline(s) of philosophy and/or religion. Required of all majors. Spring.

451 Independent Study.

499 Advanced Experimental Course.

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